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"Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)

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As mentioned here: I've had the idea to do an updated version of Mel Tappan's classic book "Survival Guns" (not a direct sequel but using the same basic idea and themes) for a fun side project.  Many if not most of the popular survival firearms available now (SKS, AKs, AR variants, etc.) were not around when Tappan wrote his book in the early 70s, so I've been thinking it would be nice to have a modern version to serve as a primer for new preppers as well as grizzled veterans.  The information that follows has been begged, borrowed and stolen from my own experiences, the books and periodicals I've read, and the perspectives of other shooters I've talked to over the years.  Hopefully it will be entertaining and interesting to you and serve as a resource you can recommend to new members to the fraternity.  I'll try to add chapters as I write them and post each chapter in separate posts on this thread.
Whatz Hizname
NOTE: I'm trying very hard to just provide some basic information so this won't be particularly in-depth in some areas, but may be comprehensive in others.  I'm also trying not to be controversial in terms of firearm quality, legal matters, and other opinions.  That said, feedback is appreciated.  I am just posting shorter sections at this time and will expand/flesh them out as I continue work on this project.


I am writing this book for the purpose of educating (and perhaps entertaining) others. 
Nothing less, nothing more. 
The basic idea for this work goes back to my youth when as a little fellow in the mid-80s with an interest in preparedness I read my father's old ragged copy of Mel Tappan's "Survival Guns".  I was fascinated with the idea of firearms as tools with various purposes and functions as opposed to the deadly killing devices they are often portrayed as in popular media.  It was from Tappan's writings that I gleaned the ideas of Working Guns, Defensive Guns, and the like although I have expanded some aspects of what he wrote about to better fit our current culture and climate.
A few years ago, I realized that a modern re-working of "Survival Guns" would be helpful for people just coming into shooting as a hobby or preparedness in general.  While a wonderful work already exists in this vein (Boston's Gun Bible by Boston T. Party) I felt that something that built upon what Tappan had laid down would be helpful, and interesting in an academic sense considering the new firearms options that have come on the market since Tappan wrote his tome in the 1970s.  I can not possibly cover everything that is out there, but have tried to at least do an overview of the concerns and considerations facing preppers who choose to arm themselves in the year 2009 and beyond.  I take sole responsibility for any omissions or errors and wish to thank any shooter who has ever shared their opinion either in person or online pertaining to these issues. 
I hope you this writing useful and educational.

Whatz Hizname
The Great State of Oregon
April 2009


You may ask "Why in this era of enlightenment, global harmony, and self-actualization do human beings need to arm themselves?"  Well, as anyone who witnessed the aftermath of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, the many random shootings by madmen in so-called "Gun-Free Zones", or spent much time out in the wild can tell you there are times when you can not rely on the thin blue line of law enforcement, the good behavior of your fellow man, or wild animals acting in the interest of your self-preservation.  When those times come a single tool can make all the difference.
It is the firearm.  A tool, not unlike a hammer or screwdriver in that it can take no action on its own but in the hands of a trained and competent person it can be a lifesaver.  For the firearm aficionado there are hundreds of books on the market that can fill you up with all the information you might need.  For those interested in backpacking or camping there exist many other books that cover basic needs for surviving in the outdoors.  What this book tries to achieve, on the other hand is to serve as an introduction to the issues facing our culture and civilization and the ways in which proper selection of firearms can give people an advantage in keeping themselves and their families alive.  It does not delve into politics or related issues but merely attempts to suggests areas of possible need and "tools" that can fill each niche. 
This book does assume that the reader is not of the mindset to rely solely on others to fulfill every need and indeed that the reader is choosing to be responsible for his or her own safety and provision.  While many in our culture have given over control of their lives to others in exchange for perceived safety and personal welfare, there remain those who understand the fact that our complex civilization and its remarkable level of interdependence could face difficulties in even the near future.  It is for those people that this book has been written. 
There are a few specific issues this book looks at in terms of why we might need firearms as part of our preparation for "The End of the World As We Know It".  There are probably many more that could be looked at, but at least having a baseline to consider gives us a starting point to begin our considerations. 
These possible issues we will explore are:
1) Economic Meltdown (being experienced worldwide as this book is written)
2) Terrorist Attack (now euphemistically referred to as "Man-caused Disasters" by our enlightened leaders)
3) Biohazards (ranging from intentional attacks to natural disasters like Avian Flue)
4) Major E.L.E.s/Extinction Level Events (asteroid impacts, nuclear war, cats sleeping with dogs, etc.)
5) Shortages of Civilization's Needs (Peak Oil, food/water shortages, eventual Starbucks bankruptcy)
6) Local/Regional Crises (earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, hurricanes, etc.)
Of course there are many other possibilities that we could explore but as many of the issues that would be encountered with the above-mentioned are likely to be similar to other disasters.  For the sake of brevity, we will give the responsibility to the reader of how to adapt the included information to other potential situations.
As Tappan said in his own introduction "I can think of no better way to close these opening remarks than by quoting a particale of wisdoom from Theodore Roosevelt: 'Make preparations in advance... you never have trouble if you are prepared for it.'"


Many people across dozens of online forums related to preparedness ask the same question, to the point that it is encountered almost daily: "What is the best survival/preparedness firearm?"  While there are as many opinions as people pushing computer keys is is helpful to consider what the individual is concerned about happening and use that as a beginning point for selecting a firearm or firearms. 
For you see despite the way they are shown in movies, television and video games firearms are merely tools like a wrench, eating utensil or communications device.  Most firearms do one or two things well and other things quite poorly.  This means the prepper/survivalist has really only two choices: 1) Exhaust their savings and buy many different models or 2) try to purchase the minimal number required to cover the greatest anticipated needs. 
It is my opinion that you can choose either path with the expectation of some success.  For example, many people recommend a good 12-gauge shotgun as a multi-purpose tool that can cover a multitude of possible concerns.  With birdshot flying creatures and small game can be taken for food, while buckshot provides an exceptional defensive measure and slugs can be used for larger game up to pretty much anything found on the North American continent.  On the other hand, there are many things that a shotgun does that can be done better by a dedicated centerfire rifle.  In this book we will discuss various calibers and their utility, as well as how certain options can cover multiple needs if there is no better option.  What you then choose will depend on your own perspective about the challenges facing our nation and world tempered with the amount of capital you have sitting around to devote to the cause.
One other consideration to entertain:  Firearms make solid investments and in fact the firearms industry seems to be the sole growth industry in the United States as of the time of this writing.  Firearms and the ammunition required to utilize them are flying off the shelves in record numbers.  You may find that it makes a lot of sense to use some of your savings in purchasing a few items that will also serve as useful tools down the road.  With that feeling of a secure investment also comes the PRICELESS feeling of being well-positioned to protect yourself if and when "the excrement impacts the spinning blades".  As it is often said, "When seconds count the police are minutes away."  And at the very least, target shooting is a whole lot of fun.  That alone is worth picking up an inexpensive little .22 rifle for plinking purposes.  And if things do get difficult firearms can be used to harvest game, provide defense for your family, and serve as valuable barter items beyond gold, food or anything else. 


It is interesting to note that FEMA's own materials on being prepared for potential disasters make little to no mention of protecting oneself.  This would seem to be because of political considerations rather than practical ones, yet firearms (or their pointy stick/sharp rock caveman precursors) as a component in disaster preparedness have a long and storied past.  It is the height of willful ignorance to think that defensive needs will not arise in an EOTWAWKI scenario.  The many and varied horror stories that come out of just about every part of the world where society breaks down should be enough to convince most people of the need to take some steps for their protection.
Please understand that this book does not mean to suggest that every person should own a firearm.  In fact, many can not or should not own a firearm.  Some people are almost pathologically uncomfortable with firearms, some people are too young to legally own one, and some feel they cannot afford one.  However, to everyone who CAN legally acquire a firearm it is suggested that they do so.  There are some fine firearms from American manufacturers that are incredibly well-priced and often used firearms can be had at a significant discount from face-to-face deals in states where it's allowed.  There are also a variety of non-lethal weapons such as pepper sprays, tasers, etc. that can be found on the market.  Whatever route you choose get trained with your chosen device and practice using it regularly.  It is my conviction that a firearm is by far the best option, but believe in each person's right to choose what works for them.  Martial arts and other training can be a valuable supporting system of defense, but it is best not to rely on those methods solely.  The author has studied martial arts since the age of six but considers it to be a secondary protocol to a firearm if things ever get really bad. 
So in summation, choose your tool(s) and practice, practice, practice.


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